Category Archives: social business

The Need for Integrated Business Applications: Chris Heuer, Alynd

I recently had the good fortune to run into Chris Heuer, CEO and Founder, Alynd, at the Launch Festival. Chris is a true thought leader when it comes to thinking about the social enterprise and the future of work.

In this interview, he explains the problem his startup Alynd solves and why, given the consumerization of IT, it is increasingly important to offer employees the most engaging and integrated tools to get the job done.

He also explains key challenges for startups and the importance of the cloud for young companies that need to get to market and scale rapidly.

He is a great speaker so I encourage you to listen to Chris:

More on Alynd

More on the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups

SMBEB: Sharon Profis’ expert tips on personal branding

I’ve seen a few talks about personal branding in my time but I have to say Sharon Profis’ presentation this week at Social Media Breakfast East Bay was definitely up there as one of my faves.

It could be down to the fact that it’s pretty much her day job as a tech journalist, and her passion for her day job shines through Winking smile.

So, what were some of her top comments? This is what stood out for me:

  • Interact with your social networks the same way you would with your friends. Don’t just reach out when you need their help. Stay involved. Share often.
  • Remember that this is human2human contact: allow yourself to show your imperfections. Don’t apply too perfect a sheen: remember what we relate to!
  • As a journalist, she’s found value in showing the process behind the creation. Even if that process is messy and not perfect. There’s a great story in the process.

One thing I got to thinking watching this presentation: how social allows us build our own personal brand, and with that personal brand it can change our relationship with our employer. Sharon succeeds as a journalist in part because she has a large social network. A network which also brings value to her employer C|Net (who also help her build her network). A lot of journalists are in the same position.

But as we see the growth in employee influencer programs, we can see this same impact of social celebrity empower those who can master the medium. For instance, think of a professor that offers much of their lectures online. Their relationship with the institution can in fact be weakened and it may be in their interest to be partners with universities rather than employees. Much as we see organizations leverage citizen developers (take a look at the Business Tech Trends webcast).

More on Sharon Profis

Finally, I’m using our internal slideshare: that is, IBM Docs!

You have to wonder why given the success of Slideshare (just ask its 60 million users), there there isn’t more of that kind of technology being used inside companies.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that as you progress upwards in an organization, the time you spend either producing or consuming presentations has a high propensity to rise. So kind of crazy that for a lot of us this means we’re still shifting around large presentation files using email. Email wasn’t designed for this and using file systems incurs all the costs of keeping data client-side.

So, heartened to see an executive recommend an approach that takes us a step closer to our own internal Slideshare: using our cloud-based document sharing platform, IBM Docs:

Like most of these online presentation tools (and the big daddy Slideshare), none of them do a great job of translating all the bells and whistles from PPT and keynote, and text boxes can take on a life of their own. However, there is a lot to be said for stripping presentations down to a simple, core message, and in this respect, the foibles of cloud-based slide sharing tools may actually get us to a happier place Winking smile

Obviously with this model you do get all the other advantages of collaborative software, such as the option to collaborate with others and make updates in real-time.

Hopefully we’re not too far away from that wonderful situation where all the key docs we work on are securely accessible from a wonderful, searchable cloud and the days of transporting large, unwieldy presentations are numbered (can you feel my pain?).

Try IBM Docs (part of IBM SmartCloud Engage)

Google+ Explained for Business

I recently was asked to talk about how Google+ can be leveraged for business as part of the social media enablement we’re providing for our business division.

It got me thinking as to where the real value lies in Google+.

This is what I boiled it down to:

  • Google+ is yet another social network
  • Google+ has some key similarities with other social networks
  • Google+ differs in some key ways
  • The interaction with other Google services such as Search and YouTube

You can see the meat of the presentation here:

Also posted to SlideShare.

Looking to get started? These are the links I suggest:

  1. Setup an account at
  2. Check out the video series on Getting Started with Google+
  3. Search for people and interests and add at least 10 to Circles
  4. Attend an upcoming IBM Big Data Google+ Hangout

Fabian Divito on the impact of becoming a social business

The real value in social is in connecting it to business processes. So said Fabian Divito, an IBM Collaboration and Portal Specialist, speaking at the Social Business Symposium held at San Jose State University late last year.

In the past many social networks were implemented within the firewall as stand-alone instances, effectively forums available for discussion, but not tied to any function, role or process. This obviously led to problems of adoption. Sure, some folks would naturally take to the tools and become high activity contributors, but overall it becomes incredibly difficult to show the business value for the setup and maintenance of the network when its not embedded into people’s work environment.

However, Fabian points out that we’re beginning to see social networking playing a more central role in the enterprise and so more examples of business impact are coming through.

Read more on this or watch the whole presentation over on the Social Business School Blog.

Luis Suarez’s top tips for getting started with social networking

If you are just getting started on the exploration of how social networking tools can help you do your job better, what should you do?

This is the question posed to Luis Suarez, Social Business Enablement lead and long-time social business evangelist. Luis is well-qualified given that he’s been exploring this area for 12 years and spends a lot of his time talking through social business adoption with customers and IBM employees.

Luis offered the following tips:

  1. Start with noting your current processes and behaviors, and then look at how social software could potentially help improve them. As is often the advice with technology adoption, avoid the temptation of getting mesmerized by the tools and looking for ways to jam them into your work process.
  2. On a related note, look for where the productivity drains occur and explore collaborative solutions to overcome these. If you can solve some of these issues, you have the best chance of seeing the greatest returns. 
  3. Start each day by telling your network (wherever that may be) what you have going on that day. It may be that you only post one update a day, but by giving your network an insight into your working life, you will find that they will be more useful and valuable when you need help.

On the 3rd point, Luis touched on the concept of ‘narrating your work’ or ‘working out loud’ espoused by Bryce Williams and Dave Winer, who sums it up particularly well on his blog:

"Narrate Your Work is something I used to tell my team at UserLand Software, because we were a virtual team, with people in Seattle, Boston, Vancouver, Germany and California. But it would have applied even if we were all working in the same office. As a manager, I wanted to know where my people were, because if they were completing a project I needed to be thinking about their next steps and how their deliverables fit in with other stuff that was coming online. And if they were late I needed to understand why."

Sound anything like your work environment?

You can find Luis working out loud on his blog or Twitter (just for starters).

Get Social. Build Apps. Meet IBM Watson at Internet Week in New York

This year, Internet Week New York happens to coincide with the celebration of the IBM Centennial in June. So as part of our celebration of 100 years of innovation, we’ll be hosting an Internet Week event on June 9th from 2pm until 5:30pm at the new IBM briefing center on historic Madison Avenue.

What we will be discussing:

Did you know that IBM is focused on helping Startups succeed? Find out how developing social applications with IBM technology can set you apart in the marketplace and learn about the IBM Smart Camp program going on around the globe including right here in New York.

So do you think you are smarter than IBM Watson? Well, you’ll also have an opportunity to get up close with IBM Watson, the artificial intelligence computer system developed by IBM Research capable of answering questions posed in natural language.  See how the technologies are now going beyond game show history to tackle some of the world’s most challenging business problems.

Is your business a Social Business? The integration of social computing into enterprise design represents an enormous shift in how business is conducted. Organizations that successfully transform into a Social Business can potentially reap great benefits – among them the ability to deepen customer relationships, drive operational effectiveness and optimize the workforce. For today’s stand-out companies, integrating social capabilities into enterprise design is a must. That opens new doors for business opportunities to be more engaged, transparent and nimble.

So how can IBM help you? Learn about bringing applications to "the cloud", taking your mobile apps on the go on most major platforms, and get started with the IBM Social Business Framework and Toolkit.

Agenda* (2-5.30pm):

  • Registration and Welcome
  • 100 years of IBM Innovation and IBM Watson Challenge
  • All About Social Business Apps and the Social Business Framework, and Toolkit Demonstration
  • Raising Your Applications to the Cloud
  • Networking and Cocktails

* subject to change

So register now and come check out the New IBM Briefing Center at:

590 Madison Ave.
3rd fl Auditorium
New York, NY 10022

Modernize your Lotus Notes applications (webinar)

Keeping applications is a perennial problem in any IT organization. This is particularly the case for critical collaboration applications like Lotus Notes, where security, performance and feature enhancements can significantly increase business value.

With the launch of Transformer 2.0, GROUP Business Software provides a package that combines software engineering with consulting services to help organizations leverage their significant investments on the Internet and on a cloud platform of their choosing.

In this webinar, GROUP will detail the key features in Transformer 2.0 pulling highlights from the recent event at MIT featuring a panel of IBM Executives. You will learn how to:

  • Rapidly modernize existing Domino applications with no data migration required
  • Extend applications to private and public clouds with no lock-in
  • Leverage existing infrastructures (hardware, middleware, directory services)
  • Standardize application appearance across your organization 

Transformer 2.0 accelerates the modernization and web enablement of your Lotus Notes applications. Don’t miss this presentation that will show you the easiest and best path to the future for your Domino investments.

The webinar is FREE – Watch the webinar now